Q1 2023

Facebook Publishing

We looked back at Q1 to define the web and native content that had the most success on the platform.

Top Publishers
Q1 2023

The Daily Mail has maintained its dominance at the head of our rankings in terms of the total number of engagements for the three-month period once again.
The British publisher ever so slightly edged out its Nigerian rival Legit, which had just 4 million or so engagements fewer than the Mail between December 1 and February 28.

Again, publishers such as NBC and Fox News include the whole umbrella here, so the local news affiliates and the likes of Fox Business and CNBC 
are included within those engagement counts.

A relative newcomer to the high end of the rankings was People, whose celebrity news made the publisher one of the top ten most engaged on Facebook overall during the last three months.

Worthy of special mention here is the Manchester Evening News, a local UK publication that found itself in the top fifteen publishers ahead of a number 
of national outlets thanks to its sports coverage, principally of its two local soccer teams — Manchester United and Manchester City.

Top web publishers by Facebook engagement

Most engaged stories Q1 2023

The top ten stories were dominated by celebrity deaths, with all three of the top three being focused on different celebrities passing away.
This has remained a theme in recent reports — while the engagement to other topics such as politics and the law have generally declined since the 2020 election, reaction to public figures’ deaths has remained at a similar level as it had in the previous few years, leading those topics to climb up the attention charts.

The three that saw the most engagement in the last three months were the deaths of Kirstie Alley, Lisa Marie Presley, and Ellen’s DJ ‘tWitch’.

Other stories of note included internet and professional success in the Philippines, as well as an NHL star refusing to wear a rainbow jersey.

David Crosby’s death also featured among the top ten most engaged stories.

Most engaged web content in Q1 2023

Publisher Headline Engagements
tmz.com Ellen' DJ Stephen 'tWitch' Boss Dead at 40 by Suicide 716,477
people.com Lisa Marie Presley, Daughter of Elvis and Priscilla, Dead at 54: 'The Most Strong and Loving Woman' 529,388
people.com Kirstie Alley Dead: Star of Cheers Dies at 71 After Short Battle with Cancer 522,141
philnews.com Lolo Vlogger Celebrates After Having 300 YT Subscribers, Gets 15k Subs in Just 1 Day 498,550
pep.ph Meet Dexter Valenton, first Aeta to pass Criminology Licensure Exam 428,553
rumble.com NHL star refuses to wear rainbow "pride" jersey for warm-ups, stands up to media 380,008
variety.com David Crosby, Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash Co-Founder, Dies at 81 348,155
trendingpoliticsnews.com BREAKING: Elon Musk Exposes Adam Schiff for Colluding With Twitter 329,327
news.cgtn.com 85% of respondents laud China's concept of shared future: CGTN, Tsinghua poll 321,960
tmz.com Kirstie Alley Dead at 71 After Private Battle with Cancer 292,071

Top 100 stories

The top 100 stories were somewhat of an extension of the top ten stories once again in the last three months.
Where there were five stories about celebrity deaths in the top ten overall, there were 17 in the top 100, which shows that they were somewhat over indexed towards the top of the list, but still appeared repeatedly among stories 11—100.

Soft stories held the plurality, with a fifth of the top 100 being some kind of child/animal/feel-good update, but the majority was still serious news of some kind. One sub-genre of these feel-good stories that were common enough to break out on their own was a high proliferation of stories about elderly people reaching ages over 100, which made up 14 of the top 100 stories. We have seen a real rise in this type of profile performing well on recent months, particularly from local media.

Culture, politics, and tech all saw some level of success, but sport was the other most popular genre of post in the last three months — perhaps unsurprising given the period contained both the World Cup Final and the Super Bowl.

Percentage of the top 100 stories in time period by genre

Top Facebook Pages

The top Facebook Pages were a mix of soft news and sports, with sports dominant.
As we previously noted, the time period we are looking at in this report contained the World Cup final, and that only helped the engagement of soccer pages, which had already begun to see success even before the tournament.

ESPNFC, which focuses specifically on soccer, was the top page on Facebook, in the last three months, with almost 150 million engagements. Fellow soccer publications Oh My Goal, GOAL and Bleacher Report Football also made it into the top five, and there were several other sports pages in the top 15.

LADbible was the only page not explicitly related to sports in the top five, while Met Dean also performed well overall.

Top Facebook Pages of Q1 2023

Top 10,000 Facebook posts by format

Of course, the top ten isn’t a representative sample, which is why we also looked at the top 10,000 posts to see which formats were used most frequently.

This presented quite a different story, with more than half the top posts being either photos or carousels of photos. Native video was the other dominant category, with around 46% of the top posts.

One trend that has solidified is the decline of pure link posts. Where on occasion we have seen some 700 or 800 link posts among the top 10,000 posts, this three-month period saw just 137 link posts among the most engaged posts.

Top 10,000 Facebook posts by format


Discover more insights in the full report

Dive deeper into the data in our full report PDF